Leroy’s eyeing rural casinos

Jun 7, 2005 5:14 AM

Having dominated the so-called rural market with its sports betting operation, American Wagering Inc. (BETM), which recently emerged from bankruptcy, has embarked on a new venture by forming a new division, AWI Gaming Inc. (AWIG).

The company’s Leroy’s sports betting operation has 60 outlets in various parts of Nevada and now it hopes to explore opportunities in the rural Nevada hotel and casino market. Leading the company’s efforts will be Bruce Dewing, a BETM director since July 2003. He has been in the gaming industry for 30 years and most recently was president and COO of the Holder Hospitality Group Inc.

Announcing the new division, Vic Salerno, president and CEO of American Wagering, said, "Through our Leroy’s locations, American Wagering has already established a significant presence in the rural Nevada market, thereby allowing the company to effectively spread risks and increase opportunities. The addition of Bruce Dewing to our management team provides proven experience with an efficient operating style and a disciplined approach to growth in order to take advantage as these new opportunities arise. Adding hotel/casino operations to the company’s portfolio will strengthen and diversify and grow the company and increase shareholder value in the long term."

The company emphasized, however, that it will insure that prospective properties meet certain key criteria of local demographics, projected return on invested capital, total capital expenditures, location, and size of the project.